EAST ALTON - United Way's annual Community Christmas kicked off this month with more than 70 boxes at participating businesses, churches, schools and organizations throughout the Riverbend area. The program collects items through December 11for local people in need this holiday season. A list of participating locations hosting a box is available at HelpingPeople.org/Christmas201 9.

This year, the top needs in the community are for blankets, household and personal care items, new coats and other clothing items. Other items needed by local agencies include non-perishable food, new toys for kids of all ages, baby formula and diapers, and new socks, hats, gloves and scarves.

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All of the items collected will be distributed to the following agencies to help people in the community during the holiday season and beyond:

100 Black Men - Alton Branch
Boys and Girls Club of Alton
Caritas family Solutions
Catholic Charities of Madison County
Catholic Children's Home
Children's Home & Aid
Crisis Food Center
Illinois Center for Autism
Oasis Women's Center
Operation Blessing
Riverbend Family Ministries
Riverbend Head Start Family Services
Salvation Army
Madison County Urban League
Village of Royal Lakes

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In addition, monetary donations are also accepted and will be used to purchase items in short supply or not collected. Donations can be made online at HelpingPeople.org/Christmas201 9 or mailed to United Way at 707 Berkshire Blvd., Suite 270, East Alton, IL 62024, marked Attn: Community Christmas.

"The Riverbend area is made up of so many generous local businesses, schools, and churches, and everyone truly comes together for Community Christmas, which helps more than 8,000 people each year," said Maura Wuellner, director of the Southwest Illinois Division of United Way. "These gifts not only brighten the holidays for children and families, but also help meet their basic needs, like coats and hats that ensure people are warm all winter long."

In addition to donating items, volunteers are needed for a variety of opportunities, including picking up donation-filled boxes and sorting the thousands of items donated. Those interested in donating items or volunteering can call 618-258-9800 for more information.

There are still donation boxes available for businesses and organizations to host. Those interested in requesting a box can call 618-258-9800.

About United Way of Greater St. Louis
United Way of Greater St. Louis mobilizes the community with one goal in mind - helping people live their best possible lives. Located throughout 16 counties in Missouri and Illinois, United Way helps one in three people in the region build a foundation for a good quality of life through basic needs, education, financial stability, health and strong communities. For more information, contact 314-421-0700 or visit www.HelpingPeople.org.

Read More:

Nov 14, 2017 | Community Christmas program now collecting items for Riverbend community Nov 14, 2017

Dec 9, 2016 | Community Christmas program collecting items for Riverbend community Dec 9, 2016

Nov 10, 2016 | Community Christmas program now collecting for Riverbend community Nov 10, 2016

Nov 23, 2020 | Community Christmas Program Now Collecting Monetary Donations for Riverbend Community  Nov 23, 2020

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